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NCTA 2012 – More on Piracy

cableNET11By: Valerie Milano

Boston, MA (The Hollywood Times) 5/23/12 – Software security is a huge conversation these days and Irdeto, a global software security and media technology is in the business to create necessary security and conditional access to protect content programming. Lawrence Low, VP of business development and sales of Irdeto answered a few questions for THT. Software piracy is not only committed by malicious, ill intentioned people, as it may seem, there are the uninformed as well.  A framework created by the company called “The Piracy Continuum” describes a variety of intentions of pirate-types: Criminals – “I make money on your content” Hackers – “Let’s see if I can get that content” Casual Pirates – “Why don’t I just download it?” Frustrated Consumers– “I would buy it if I could, but you won’t let me” Confused Consumers – “Hey, I found this video on this cool site” Consumers– “I am happy with the content I get” Low explained it’s very confusing for consumers to even know they’re crossing that line. The primary motivation is to enjoy programming. For example, “you’ve got live streaming sites that have ad networks propagating ads and working with major brands running from Nike to Coca-Cola to Kraft (well-trusted brands). When a consumer goes on to the site to see live World Cup coverage for instance, or other streaming sports coverage, the consumer has the natural belief it’s sponsored by those brands and is authentic and legitimate content.  This is the first time really in history that piracy has a true revenue model that borders on legitimate. So confused consumers have no malicious intent, just great interest in consuming the content and believe that what they are doing is legitimate.” Denying content isn’t really a viable solution, so Irdeto’s solution requires “Cleaning up content from unauthorized online sources is one mechanism that is part of our larger, overall strategy for addressing this problem. In general, our solutions are meant to both keep the “bad guys” at bay and keep the honest people honest. Our Irdeto Intelligence solution, for example, tracks content as it escapes out into the “wild” across every nook and cranny of the Internet,” he explained. Once the information is reported back to their client they are able to handle enforcement. “We also have Broadband solutions that make accessing content legitimately much easier, which goes a long way to mitigating piracy and preventing frustrated consumers.  Piracy is very dynamic – it’s not just about denying access to content anymore.” Digital piracy is a threat to television everywhere. While there really is no clear solution to ending stealing content, whether it be television, cable, motion pictures or video games. “It’s more about management of the problem, not eradication.  There is a window of time where content is most valuable from a monetization perspective – so long as you can maintain that window, or extend it, the piracy and impact to revenue is minimized.”